Examining the influence of antenatal care visits and skilled delivery on neonatal deaths in Ghana

Type Journal Article - Applied Health Economics and Health Policy
Title Examining the influence of antenatal care visits and skilled delivery on neonatal deaths in Ghana
Volume 12
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 511-522
URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40258-014-0103-z

Many Sub-Saharan African countries may not achieve the Millennium Development goal of reducing child mortality by 2015 partly due to the stalled reduction in neonatal deaths, which constitute about 60 % of infant deaths. Although many studies have emphasized the importance of accessible maternal healthcare as a means of reducing maternal and child mortality, very few of these studies have explored the affordability and accessibility concerns of maternal healthcare on neonatal mortality.


This study bridges this research gap as it aims to investigate whether the number of antenatal visits and skilled delivery are associated with the risk of neonatal deaths in Ghana.


Using individual level data of women in their reproductive years from the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey, the study employs an instrumental variable strategy to deal with the potential endogeneity of antenatal care visits.


Estimates from the instrumental variable estimation show that antenatal care visits reduce the risk of neonatal death by about 2 %, while older women have an approximately 0.2 % higher risk of losing their neonates than do younger women.


Findings suggest that women who attend antenatal visits have a significantly lower probability of losing their babies in the first month of life. Further, results show that women’s age significantly affects the risk of losing their babies in the neonatal stage. However, the study finds no significant effect of skilled delivery and education on neonatal mortality.

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